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tv   Weekends With Alex Witt  MSNBC  November 25, 2012 9:00am-11:00am PST

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of them making their way back from the holiday feast. and it could be a long ride for many around the country if mother nature has her way. the trek back from thanksgiving will be in full swing today following a holiday journey for more than 43 million americans. it's the fourth year in a row that a majority drove to their destination. air travel actually went down by almost 2%. just over 3 million are traveling by plane. americans still wanting to get away but also save where they can. >> the factors that are behind these numbers are relate primarily to the economy and as we all know the economy is still sluggish but there is improvement. >> aaa estimates that 40% of travelers left the day before
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thanksgiving and 36% returning today and 25% tomorrow. it could be a long journey home. this is what it looked like on the 405 on los angeles on the big get away day with traffic backed up for miles. and on thanksgiving morning as drivers headed out on i-10 east in beamont, texas. a husband and wife were killed and 100 injured and the trail of wreckage stretched for two miles. forecasters say more fog and snow in parts of the midwest and northeast could make it trougher getti tougher getting home after a long holiday weekend. >> reporter: again, as this afternoon goes on, we're going to see the traffic build on this
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road. about a 10% drop, alex, than they spent last year. >> michelle franzen there. here's a big question. will the weather cooperate for travelers out there? here with the travel forecast to answer that for us is dylan. >> most areas will cooperate. you're just dealing with the traffic as opposed to snow and ice on top of the traffic. the areas where we are seeing the snow have seen snow for the last couple of days. it's around the great lakes. the country is split in half. dealing with cold temperatures, highs today topping out in the 30s and 40s. 45 degrees in chicago and then the southern half warmer in the 60s and 70s. the showers we're seeing back into new york state and
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pennsylvania is lake-effect in nature. the streams are coming off lake ontario and lake erie. they have already picked up more than four or five inches already since the last couple of days. but we are going to see that be an issue across 90 through new york state and we also have some of those snow showers falling back through wyoming and back into the dakotas right now. along the east coast, the i-95 corridor gets backed up this time of year. we're going to see nothing but partly cloudy skies. solar glare will not be too much of an issue. >> sounds like it's pretty perfect, then. so that's good. thank you for that, dylan. let's go to front-page politics. the fiscal cliff negotiations are set to take place this week. in washington today, we heard both sides staking out their positions. here's democratic senator carl
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levin on "meet the press." >> the key is whether the republicans will move away from the rigid position which has been the grover norquist pledge that they signed that they will not go away for additional revenues. >> the gop rejecting the decade-old pledge. here's what norquist said about cham bliss. >> the commitment that he made to the people of georgia was not to me. it was to the people of georgia that he would go to washington to reduce government spending and reform government, not raise taxes. if he wants to change his mind and become a tax increaser so we don't have to reform government, he needs to have that conversation with the people of georgia. >> and new today,
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congressman peter king on the controversy. >> i agree with chambliss. if i were in congress in 1941, i would have signed al declaration of war against japan. i'm not going to declare war against japan today. the times have changed. ronald reagan and tip o'neil recognized that in the '80s. everything should be on the table. >> joining me, ed and david. thank you for joining me. >> good to see you, alex. >> you heard representative king on "meet the press" saying that he agrees on the pledge to not raise taxes. >> if you look at exit polling, people want to see democrats and
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republicans working together. you talk to them over and over again and voters say that and expect it. you see lawmakers since they have returned saying that they want to work together and one of the ways is that whether it was on taxes or other issues. >> so david, the change of heart by the gop on taxes, is it legitimate? is it a philosophical change or facing political reality since the majority of the public are okay with tax hikes on the wealthy? >> it's a political reality and this is the result of an election. it is significant. it's not only sacks b.chambliss. it's lindsey graham and he is
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most likely going to attract a primary challenger. this is not without risk but it's significant. it's not only the senators. you have senator coburn and saying it won't be terrible to raise taxes on the rich. i think we are starting to see a shift. the key is, is it just reductions or will some be willing to raise tax rates on the wealthy? that is going to be the real sticking point and ed, you heard what congressman king said. he said, look, it all has to be on the table. then you have speaker boehner saying that he wants obama care on the table in the fiscal cliff negotiations in reality will that be on the table, obama care in. >> you know, this is a a genius
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move by republicans. they wanted to repeal obama care. they would have done it had mitt romney been elected and they can't do that. boehner has said repealing it entirely is a moot issue. but getting some concessions is probably the way to do it. in part because there are democrats who agree that changes should be made and even the president has said that it's not a perfect law. do the math. deduct it a little bit or make changes to republican care. you've got the workings of a grand compromise and everyone can walk away a winner by saying, look, we changed obama care, we're going to pay down the debt. who loses in that situation? certainly on the fringes people would say it's a bad deal but pretty much both parties could walk away and say we compromised and we fixed it. >> you want to write that up and send it up to the hill there? the other hot topic on "meet the
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press," the gaubenghazi attack t killed the ambassador chris stevens. >> susan rice is obligated to do more than look at a three-sentence unclassified or five-classified unclassified talking points. she had access to all of the sensitive top secret classified information and she knew that the story she was giving out was not entirely true. >> you know, that is still pretty harsh. do republicans have a political tenure on this? >> i'm not sure. you see a lot of republicans watching the sunday shows. they are being just as fervent as they were a few weeks ago. but if you look between the lines it seems that they are
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walking it back so i think there are going to be tough questions. this is going to be a rough hearing pros r process if she is the nominee. president obama stood right with her. is he not backing away from her. so it looks like she is still going to be the favorite but i think it will be a tough hearing but watch these comments by senator graham, senator mccain. they look to be wanting more accountability than anything else. >> you know, tough hearing perhaps but ed, you may have written what john heilemann writes. he says, as a rule, your columnist avoids predictions but in the spirit of holiday inn dull generals, lee make an exception here. not only will obama appoint rice to succeed clinton, but she will be confirmed. what do you think? do you agree? >> well, he's a columnist and
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i'm a reporter. i don't do predictions either way. lee say this. if you look at the senate, democrats have 55 votes. you need 60 votes to proceed. you need to five republicans willing to debate her confirmation and may inevitably vote against it. they have done this a few time where they proceed to a bill, they avoid a filibuster and then vote against it. in this case can all they need to do is find enough republicans that say, look, the president has enough to confirm whoever they want and i'll inevitably vote no. it could happen. the fact that mccain has now backed off a little bit and said i'm willing to meet with her, i'm willing to hear her out, that suggests softening and they take their cues on foreign policy. most of them do. so if he's starting to lessen his opposition, perhaps this will return to a serious discussion about what happened in libya, why were the four
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americans killed? why were security requests denied instead of, why shouldn't susan rice be the next secretary of state. >> thank you both so much. >> thank you. west coast headlines are next with one company's desperate search for workers. you're watching "weekends with alex witt." ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] it started long ago. the joy of giving something everything you've got. it takes passion. and it's not letting up anytime soon. if you're eligible for medicare, you might know it only covers about 80%
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new talks are slated for tomorrow on what is next between the cease-fire for israel and
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hamas. any details have yet to be worked out. the next direct talks happen in k cairo. meanwhile, the military is not commenting on the long oh-range rockets, the same type that were fired into israel. hamas says the can conflict caused $1.2 billion to the economy. in egypt, dueling rallies are planned. police and protesters are planned at tahrir square. jim maceda is live in cairo. can you put a perspective on this?
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i understand there are going to be demonstrations from both sides. >> that's absolutely right. i'll tell you, alex, you won't see many of them down below me here in tahrir square, nor will you see them throwing rocks at the police. but the average egyptians, since there's no polling on this, they are just as worried and angry about what morsi has done. morsi in putting his own will, his own voice above the wall, that he's, in fact, snuffing out the will of the people and all those other voices of egyptians who are not muslim brotherhood. many egyptians were killed down below and up to 11 thour,000, i understand, wounded since the uprising, did that in order that people's voices would be heard and reckoned with and they are angry that his camp is in a very brazen way trying to silence
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that. morsi's decrees, they say, feel they are a sign of times to come. it r will it be secular or islamic? they fear it's heading towards theorocracy like iran. >> are people harp pending back to mubarak days when things lasted, i don't know, three decades? >> look it, people have known in this country they've known power grabs, military coos, assassinations and nothing but that. so, of course, that's the baseline that they go on. there's a real fear amongst all of those people who are not muslim brotherhood that morsi is going to use their power, at least some would suggest paranoid about it, they are very hyper sensitive to what has happened. they understand that in different times, in recent
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history and different countries, hitler comes to mind, that people who you trusted turned out to do things that turned out to be extremely evil and hurtful to the country. so that's really where they are at, which suggests that people here are worried and they are angry and there's -- emotions are on an edge here. >> jim maceda, thanks so much. much of the focus on the looming fiscal cliff has been on tax increases and entitlements but also massive budget cuts to the department of defense totalling half a trillion dollars over the next ten years. so will that happen and can our military afford it? joining me is representative smith. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> assume for a moment that nothing changes and these budgets cuts go into effect. what does that look like for our national security and budget?
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>> it's a big cut. it's a mindless cut. there's no ability to do any sort of strategic planning. i think the defense department can take some reductions. it's part of a budget deal. we can reduce the amount of the money that we're spending but to do it through sequestration, a cut right now, mindless across the board will really hamper our national security. no question. >> you talk about the ability to make some cuts and leon panetta has suggested that being a toletoll tolerable cut. >> we have big weapon systems that have gone over budget, lasted longer.
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but also we had troops deployed. we are out of iraq. there are savings to be found in our ground forces and a have a right of weapon systems. >> you have to look at these things on a microlevel just in your home state of washington, joint base lewis-mcchord, we found it would cost your home state 17,000 jobs, $730 million in income loss. you know, how much does that affect your stance on military spending? you're there for your constituents? >> those are projection estimates. there's no doubt that it would have a very real job and economic impact and we're concerned about that. but when we're dealing with the debt and deficit, no matter what we do, in terms of raising taxes or cutting spending, it has a
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negative impact but we're running a 40% deficit year in and year out. we have to long term get that better aligned. you're going to get the question, does congress know where the deal is going to come on fiscal cliff ultimately and this is all just posturing? you really don't? >> absolutely not. look, we've been dealing with this for a long time and for every dollar in tacks that you're willing to spend, how do you cure that appetite in an instance? we have hard work ahead of us, no question. >> the rebel group known as m-23 took over a major city. they have plans to move on the capital. it's part of a very bloody, bloody regional war. it's seen atrocity on both sides. it's cost millions of lives.
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you've been very vocal about it. what should the u.s. be doing here? >> this is the greatest humanitarian crisis that nobody has ever heard of. somewhere between 3 to 4 million people have been killed in the last few years. you have uganda that spilled across the border. the eastern congo is an ungoverned space that many different rebel groups have come into. there's hundreds and thousands of internally displaced persons. what the u.s. can do is send a high-level and bring a peace deal forward. we can help train security forces. we already have. that battalion is incredibly
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effective. we can engage -- and i can't emphasize this enough. people are dying. rape is an enormous problem in this part of the world. if you have rule of law and security, you can save hundreds and thousands, if not millions of lives and there's great opportunity. it's a place where we can be more involved in. >> i'm glad that you can be vocal about it. safe travels back to washington, d.c. i'm going to say i'm reading this story under duress, being forced to do it because the irish jumped on my school, usc. and then notre dame stopped the trojans on a remarkable seven-place goal line. they are headed to the championship game for the first time since 1988. that's got to feel good. trojans, come on. tougher ones.
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well, if itmr. margin?margin. don't be modest, bob. you found a better way to pack a bowling ball. that was ups. and who called ups? you did, bob. i just asked a question. it takes a long time to pack a bowling ball. the last guy pitched more ball packers. but you... you consulted ups. you found a better way. that's logistics. that's margin. find out what else ups knows. i'll do that. you're on a roll. that's funny. i wasn't being funny, bob. i know.
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now, the first giving tuesday is coming up. make a charitable donation to your recent cause. and that honor goes to tulsa, oklahoma seconded by collegedale, be tennessee followed by alpine, utah. >> the airing of grievances, i've got a lot of problems with you people. >> that is a seinfeld classic. and right now it's the hottest selling dvd. >> i can see what everyone else has been talking about.
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anti-tax increase. this time it's lindsey graham. >> when you're $16 trillion in debt, the only pledge we should be making is republicans should put revenue on the table. we're this far in debt. we don't generate enough revenue. capping deductions will help generate revenue. i think grover is wrong when he says we can't cap deductions and buy down debt. what do you do with the money? i will violate the pledge only if the democrats will do entitlement reform. >> publisher and former pennsylvania governor ed rendell. hello, guys. good to see you both. >> and to you. both of you. rich, your party has been doing a lot of soul searching and you
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just heard lindsey graham going against grover norquist's tax pledge. >> well, what they have come to understand, i think, is and lindsey graham said he's not in favor of raising rates but in favor of cutting deductions and exemptions. >> if they were only doing it
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for political purposes they should have done it two weeks ago. the fact is that we have lost two seats in the senate. we lost the presidency. so obviously the republican party needs to change direction and i think what lindsay graham and peter king are saying is that there has to be some change in revenue but what they are not saying is that they i think that fits with the way most republicans see the world. >> so governor, if the post election gop does that mean that president obama has a willing congress to tackle some big legacy defining issues in a second term? >> well, two things. they are finding out that nobody voted for grover norquist.
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it's time to start acting in the interest of the country, as lindsey graham said. you can't do it by capping deductions. as bill clinton said, the math does not add up. unless you specify the deductions that you want to get rid of or the ones that we need to reduce, they are the ones that are massively unpopular. >> governor, what i think lindsay graham was saying is that the reductions and deductions would be on the higher income earners. you wouldn't tell somebody who is in the middle class that they can no longer take their mortgage deduction. >> no, i understand that. but the math, as bill clinton says, when you do just that, it doesn't added a up. >> we have to have rates -- >> we have to have -- anyone who is really serious and has looked
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at it knows that it doesn't added a up. tell us the deductions that you're talking about. that was mitt romney's biggest problem. and then i think it's also important to note that we've got to do something about military spending. we spend more than the top 20 nations in the world put together. it's ridiculous how much we spend. we've got to trim the military budget and, yes, we have to do entitlement reform. this cannot be a one-way street. this doesn't matter that we won the election. the republicans still control the house and they have a right to filibuster and the senate. we've got to be serious about reducing spending and in spending, just like in revenue, the mother load is in rates. in spending, the mother load is in entitlement reform. >> itch rrk can can i ask you about immigration reform. ? what sort of proposal do you think would get republican backing? >> i have no idea, alex.
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i'm not a policy guy and i'm certainly not an immigration guy. i do know that jewish w. bush got 40% or 42% of the latino vote when he ran for president but, more importantly, i think he got 60 something percent of hispanic voters in texas running for governor. so there's a wide area that a conservative republican -- because i don't think anyone called trowsky a republican, look for political cover if they need it and say these are the ways to go forward and quit talking about latinos like they are some kind of a group of enemies. they just aren't. it's just horrible. >> if the president is able to get through immigration reform, you couple that with health care reform, is that the tipping point for greatness in terms of his legacy? >> i think he needs to do more than that. i think the republicans can
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support the dream act, support a -- i think the republicans can support that. and gas and oil and clear coal technology as well and we've got to do infrastructure. it's crumbling. we've got top spend money. we boost the economy and bring back manufacturing and create good well paying jobs that can't be outsourced. >> it's a big agenda ahead. >> and a lot to agree on, don't you think, governor? >> absolutely. this is the time for us to come together and agree on things for the country. >> thank you so much. right now, brand new figures from black friday shows mixed numbers for retail.
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customers spent just over $11 billi billion, a 1% decline. foot traffic increased totalling 300 million visits. how important is black friday really? a new article says it's all a bunch of hype and there's a chart to prove it. joining me is neil irwin who wrote the column for "the washington post." what exactly does this show? >> when you look at the actual relationship between how much sales are on black friday over that thanksgiving week and how that ties into retail sales, meaning that a good black friday means that we see a fall in sales over the holiday season. we try to turn this into an
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economic story but it's just really people who like to line up and get bargains like on tvs. >> do these dots tell us anything about the whole american economy? >> no. i mean, look, consumer spending as a whole is 70% of economic activity but that's misleading because that includes consumption all year long, which includes buying your car, health care, groceries. holiday spending is just a tiny part of that picture. it's going to give you a misleading picture of what is going on in the american economy. >> i want to ask about this line in the middle. what does that show us? >> the overall relationship is weak but to the degree that there's a relationship at all, it's negative. if sales were positive over this
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thanksgiving week, that may predict a worse holiday season overall than if they were positive. >> unless you look at the individuals because someone actually got discounts on merchandise, right? >> what's going on is kind of a trade. the retailers throughout the deep discounts are essentially offering those discounts at a below market right in exchange that whoever is willing to stand in line the longest. by standing in line f. that's appealing to you, more power to you. it doesn't tell you a whole lot about what is going on in the overall economy. >> well, nevertheless, i'm glad you came to talk about it. >> thanks, alex. >> chris matthews movie critic? if you think you missed out on black friday prices at the home depot, think again. black friday prices are still here. instore and online,
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timeses news in twin falls, idaho, about the looming cliff. the press democrat in california has this headline, big drop this em grants handed over to feds. it's about how fewer people are being turned over to authorities in sonoma county. and the seattle times has an article titled, microsoft seeks more foreign workers. it's offered to pay a boun dee to the government in exchange for extra visas to import more foreign workers. a look at the best of lighter moments with and i've been asking mika about a holiday dinner she'd like to forget. >> can i ask you, you brought up something that this just brought to mind.
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with your father being who is he in the carter administration, you being a democrat, you have these two brothers, one of whom works for mitt romney, what in the world is your dinner like around the thank giving table? >> we've had some bad ones. seriously. >> my mother hates it when i tell that story. >> thanksgiving 2004, middle of the iraq war. >> it was that the boys were not getting along. >> ian worked for don rumsfeld, mark worked for bill clinton and is now an ambassador in sweden for barack obama. and they get into a fight. >> yeah. >> over thanksgiving dinner over the iraq war. it started in the dining room. >> it was heated. >> and ended up in the front lawn. >> it was very heated. >> look, there is none of that. >> and you've got pete townsend
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over there. are you a really good guitar player? >> you know, some people will say that i'm the greatest guitar player that has ever lived. no, i'm not actually a good guitar player. but i play guitar, piano. i do a little bit of everything. >> and you write songs? >> i've been writing songs since i was 13. i love music, writing songs, recording them. that's what i did grow up in high school when other people were at the beach, i was a dork working the wires and recording songs. i was locked in my room recording but it's what i loved, what i always loved. so when pete townsend comes on the show, that excites me a lot more than being around presidents and prime ministers.
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>> "argo," i love the movie. ben affleck did a great job and i want to see "lincoln." f. >> the honeymoon? >> that's been something that's been on your mind. >> it was really great. these wedding things are really hard. planning. >> can i see picture? >> yeah. let's see. >> you are a great looking couple. >> that is us from our wedding day. so the honeymoon was great. we went to brazil and we went hand gliding and spent a lot of time on the beach and hiked sugarloaf mountain. it was nice to go away and i have to be honest, the first two days it rained while we were there so we were all caught up. >> if you want to check out our "office politics" issue, you can
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go to my facebook page. the segments are all there for you. number three on our first web stories, china is building the tallest skyscraper in 90 days. it's in the city of central china. if successful, the building will be ten meters higher than the tallest building in dubai. measn by the way they clean themselves in the bathroom. try charmin ultra strong. with a new duraclean texture, it helps you get clean. plus it's four times stronger than the leading value brand. and you can use up to four times less. charmin ultra strong.
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a new article out today suggests that president obama may tackle income equality during his second term. i'm glad you're here. thank you. >> let's talk about this. you write in 1995, well before the president became the president, said, my travel made me sensitive to the plight of those without power and the issues of class and inequalities
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as it relates to wealth and power. one thing you see is a vast disparity of wealth of those who are part of the power structure. >> barack obama was in his mid-30s talking about his new book, "dreams from my father" and he was observing how class and economic equalities sometimes sur planted racial inequalities in other societies as well as their own. i see income inequality and combatting it one of his unifying ideas i would argue that this is one of his big ideas. >> the night that the president was re-elected, has he outlined specifically how he wants to tackle this? >> i think he has. i don't think the president is seeking that everyone makes the same amount of money. he understands in a capitalist
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society, we'll have wealthy and the poor. but he's bottom they'rhered by ability to go up the economic ladder has gone up and gone down. he's tackling the health care law, the tax policy and really are in specific ways taking money from the wealthy and redistributing it to the poor. education is trying to deal with longer term challenges, people that have a higher education achieve so much more income. >> you wrote in another article about the disagreement between the obama administration about what was happening in the first term. now that the president has dealt with underwater homeowners deal with refinancing. >> the one big disagreement is about housing and whether he adequat
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adequated addressed the underwater mortgages. answer a small percentage of people who have needed help have gotten it. we're four years out of the crisis and the housing market is starting to recover. >> how are we prepared for anything that the president may want to tackle in the next term? how much have we rebounded? >> the economy is definitely rebounding. you can say that with confidence things are better. longer term there is great structural questions. people's income is not increasing. if the middle class income is not going up, you don't feel it getting better. we haven't resolved questions about whether we'll have an educated workforce for the future. >> okay. zachary, thank you so much going in. we appreciate that.
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>> thank you. fresh inside to the filming of the new movie "lincoln" after the break. ♪ make just one someone happy and when it's a toys for tots child, well, what could be more important? so this year, every hasbro toy donated to toys for tots will be powered by duracell. happy holidays. duracell with duralock. trusted everywhere.
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welcome back. this is weekend with alex witt. >> you've got to raise additional revenues, including tax rates on the wealthy. >> those have to go up? >> they have to go up. either real tax rates or effective tax rates. secondly, we've got to close some significant loopholes, for instance, the ones that allow for too many corporations to avoid paying taxes by moving revenues overseas. >> mike is at the white house. did it sound to you like they are ready to make compromises?
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>> reporter: there's so much there to listen to and, alec, i know people hate to hear this, but you really have to look closely at what they are saying. as the fiscal cliff negotiations are set to make, peter king, we'll hear from him in a moment, say that they are willing to forego, to break the ledge that they made, the famous pledge that this individual that grover norquist talks about, that republicans made that they will not raise taxes. there's two parts. they won't raise tax rates or tax revenues by any means necessary. lindsey graham says he will willing to doll that by simplifying the tax code. that's one path to compromise that we will see.
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what they don't agree upon yet is raising that top rate, that 35% rate right now for the wealthiest americans. president obama campaigned on t. raising it to 39.6% where it was during the clintoned a handwritin administration. now, here's peter king from this morning. >> i myself am opposed to tax increases. they are going to be in a room trying to find the best prackag. we should not be making iron clad positions. so far he's pretty conciliatory in his language. >> so pretty hopeful as the clock particulars towards january 1st and the fiscal cliff, some call it a fiscal slope, some people are talking about it as a way to force people to really come to the table and there's one things that republicans are insisting on that they say they are opened
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to and that is entitlement reform. alex? >> okay. mike viquera at the white house. joining me is andy sullivan. thank you for being back. eleanor, i'll start with you. let's listen to dick durbin and lindsey graham today. >> okay. >> there's a bipartisan bill passed by the senate that will spare 98% of taxpayers across america from any income tax raises and 90% of the businesses. it's a bipartisan bill the house should pass to make sure we go forward with these negotiations without this specter of tax increases for working families. >> i'm willing to generate revenue as it's fair to ask my party to put revenue on the table below historic averages. i will cap deducks. if you cap deductions around the 30, $40,000 end, you can raise a
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trillion dollars in revenue and the people who lose their deductions are the upper end americans. >> eleanor, it starts out one way and then it doesn't seem like there's a lot of room. how do you read that? >> i treed as thanksgiving rhetoric. i think the democrats are ready to deal with entitlement reform. zack put that on the table a year and a half ago when they came close to reaching a deal and the republicans are held up on the notion of tax rates. if you listen early to what senator durbin said, he said tax rates are effective tax rates. you've got this sort of maneuvering that is being talked about where you would raise the -- we'd have the top rate
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stay the same but you'd have people over that rate pay the money, not just the marginal rate. so they are maneuvering and i suspect that they will come a deal because simply not coming to a deal has worst effects than not coming to a deal politically. >> saxby chambliss says we're going to have to consider raising taxes, it's for the good of the country. what do you think ultimately? where are republicans going to fall on this? is it going to lead to infighting from the gop? >> i think you'll see a lot of heat and noise but i think at the end of the day you'll see a fair number of americans break with their no tax pledge. saxby chambliss has already done so and grover responded last week by saying that we're going to have a conversation with the
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people of georgia which is a way of saying that we're going to run a ton of negative ads against you. senator chambliss is up for re-election in 2014 but he's made the calculation that he's less afraid of grover than he is about the whole ball of wax in general. i think this is a stand for grover norquist and if enough of these republicans break with him, it can be a big loss for him. >> eleanor, in your latest article you write about the fiscal cliff and here's the quote. there's a new day dawning on the democratic side as well where even that party's members say entitlements are off the table. a sea change in partisan thinking there. how far are democrats willing to compromise on entitlements? >> well, they seem to be very nervous about raising the retirement age but i think that's even less of a problem. first of all, it is gradually going up in those raises an age where it was put in place by
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previous presidents. secondly, if you have obama care in place, people don't have to worry about being cut out of health care because health care insurance will now be universal and will continue at whatever age you are. so i think there's more maneuvering there as well and they visited 100 congressional offices, 90 democrats and they did hear the ice cracking up with the republican, no new taxes pledged. and if you don't restrain entitlement spending, it eats up all of the money that you want to spend on education, infrastructure, or the big problems that we have done in this country, like sending the money to the moon or building a highway system. we want to have the ability to have that kind of money to invest and you can't do that if
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it grows unabated. >> let's say he gets most of what he wants. what is next? and how much is he going to achieve? andy, the same question to you, so think about that. >> first, i think he will fulfill some of the promises that he made in the first term. immigration reform. and more energy, clean energy. i think he sees that as a big job booster. and he has said that that's a huge problem facing not only the political parties but the planet. and so i think i he's got to r a lot to do. >> where is the tipping point for greatness, and might it just
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be the evolution and rolling out of the affordable health care act? when you think about legacy, is that enough? >> that could be one element of it and that could be a part of the lar injury picture that he sees and helping americans cope with this new economic environment he talked about this a lot during his campaign and some of it is job restraining and making jobs more oi fordable. that seems to be the key. these $40,000 a year jobs out of high school are disappearing. you need a secondary education and i think this is something that he would like to expand on. >> sorry. to expand back to your original question, if you talk about legacy, it's small and
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incremental but ten years from now you can say, that's really important. >> absolutely good to see you both. thank you. the fragile cease fire between israel and hamas will soon enter its fourth day but new talks are slated for tomorrow. any details beyond the initial cease-fire have not been worked out. iran was spotted loading rockets on to a ship possibly headed for gaza. it includes long-range rockets of the type fired into israel. the government is refusing to comment on this. for perspective and analysis on the fragile cease-fire, let's go to martin fletcher. martin, what are the issues that
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remain to be resolved before any cease-fire can hold? >> reporter: well, they are the same, what we've been talking about, ma hamas demands that israel lift the blockade of gaza, not only the fishing limit from three miles to six miles but lifting the embargo completely, allowing goods in, not only the entry points from israel but also a full, complete and that's the main sticking point, the two key points. and hamas has pre-empted. >> another standing block is the
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fact that hamas was claiming victory. there were all sorts of victories that we showed videos of. does that complicate the picture and, if so, how? >> every time this has happened, they claim victory. israel's rocket attacks, the warplane attacks we're aimed at two things, to make them believe they should not fight israel because they will be beaten so soundly that it's not worth it. it shows the truth and that they were not beaten by israel. the fact that they were able to fire rockets into israel even after absorbing 1500 air strikes to them is a success. their bar for success is much lower than israel's bar for success but they believe in
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their success and that complicates issues not only vis-a-vis israel but internally with the west bank. hamas has shown that it doesn't pay and violence does. >> martin, do leaders want a two state solution or do they refuse to recognize israel's right to exist? >> it's a no and a yes. they do not recognize the right to exist. it's in the hamas charter. it's founded on the belief that israel has no right to exist. that complicates any future peace negotiations and so, be
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yes, tla complicates it. and it means that hamas will never recognize israel's right to exist. it's possible that they can come to a long-term agreement which allows them to live quietly side by side. that would be the maximum that could come out of these negotiations. >> talk about a stumbling block right out of the starting gate. martin fletcher in tel-aviv, thank you, martin. rates increasing at retail. i'm going to get more coffee. plus, what it was like to work with daniel day-due wis. i'm done! "are you a cool mom?"
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potential candidates are lining up for jesse jackson the famed civil rights leader once had his sights set on the white house but leaves amid multiple investigations. and when you trace his rise through politics, his event you'll demise as well, when did the walls start caving in? >> if we were to write a novel, it would be about a very bright kid frustrated by the political
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maneuverings and margin allized by the first president of the united states and then inflicted by his inflicted wounds and then he was indiscrete in making clear his desire to be cimayor the city and they blocked him at the pass. then along came the surprise once unknown state senator barack obama who achieved what he had hoped to achieve to become the first black president and at that point everything from first and foremost, lobbying a little too hard for that vacant seat in the u.s. senate and fbi wire taps were allies of rod blog blog, the convicted governor, millions of 2k dollars and then revelation of an extramarital affair well a
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washington bikini model and waitress and then you have word of his being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and hospitalized at the mayor clinic and then last but not least, the fact that he's under a federal investigation for apparent misuse of campaign funds. everything came crashing very quickly. >> it sure did. but here is something that was rather shocking. he was effectively able to disappear for months and yet he got re-elected to his seat. how did that happen? >> yeah. he didn't campaign for one single minute. >> yep. >> the two candidates against him, they were no serious opposition against him. he was a potent name in that community. the core of that constituency african-americans were rather sympathetic when word got out about some of this trouble, notably his medical problems. but there is no doubt because
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that district is not totally african-american. they've redrawn it. it's about 54% african-american. and could have been a far more formidable force than the two of them. >> can i squ what he wrote in his resignation to speaker boehner. how much did he really achieve for his constituents? >> well, some. specifics oon the powerful house appropriation committee. there is some good awful poverty that most americans can't still appreciate are existing and he helped out a great deal but there was always a difference between his intellect and what he did achieve even with the position of the house of
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appropriations committee. nowhere near what one would have thought and among some of his kol legs, republicans and democrats in the illinois delegation, was always seen as an underachiever. >> who are the candidates that are likely to replace him? could a republican take that seat? >> you'd have to have another cup of coffee, as you suggested -- >> i need one of those, i tell. >> you it would reach from here to scarsdale, new york. there will be a ton of african-americans first and foremost, thinking this over. but it's going to be interesting with the makeup of the district 46% nonafrican-american, if there is a strong white candidate -- and there pa may well be in the form of a former democratic congressman named deb halverson who tried again this time and lost, she undoubtedly will run. in a democratic primary, reality
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is, if you have one too many african-americans running and one strong white candidate, that could be very interesting. there are two chicago city council members, both who will probably be the leading black candidate, as i suspect. >> let's get coffee together the next time you're in new york. >> a pleasure. have a great rest of the day. >> thanks so much. same to you. behind the scenes of the movie "lincoln." a tour that she will never forget. and also heading home after the holiday. how much company you're going to be having if you're traveling today. [ male announcer ] this is sheldon, whose long dy setting up the news starts with arthritis pain and a choice. take tylenol or take aleve, the #1 recommended pain reliever by orthopedic doctors. just two aleve can keep pain away all day. back to the news.
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turnpike. michelle franzen is standing by for us. it looks like it's picked up. >> yes, it's picking up and will continue to pick up after the noon hours here on this sunday. that's because the majority who took off are taking to the roads and 36% of them will be heading back after the sunday drive for that holiday weekend and then another 25% fewer people took to the plains this time around and ended up driving fewer miles to their destination. fuel prices, of course, still very expensive but slightly lower. the economy stitly improving but people are looking to save
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money, on average $500, about a 10% drop from last year. of course, the biggest travel day was the wednesday before before thanksgiving and mother nature could slow that down for many. >> thank you so much, michelle franzen. raising rates for retail workers. will it help the economy? "weekends with alex witt" will be back after this. oh no, not that, not here! [ male announcer ] antacids don't relieve gas. gas-x is designed to relieve gas. gas-x. the gas xperts.
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10:31 am the best schools in the world... see they all have something very interesting in common. they have teachers... ...with a deeper knowledge of their subjects. as a result, their students achieve at a higher level. let's develop more stars in education. let's invest in our teachers... they can inspire our students. let's solve this. welcome back to "weekends with alex witt." now out with a new study saying that raising wages for employees would lift over 700,000 workers out of poverty. it would grow the gdp and create 100,000 jobs. is it really that simple? joining me now is the vice president of policy and
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research. thank you for joining me. we were reading this and we all thought, is that all it is going to take? i mean, really, walk us through the numbers. how much would we have to raise numbers to see the impact that we're projecting? >> we're talking about raising the minimum floor to $25,000 a year. those workers go out and spend money in the economy and that alone generates about 100,000 to 130,000 jobs. 5 billion will go straight back to the retail sector. can the big chain stores support this? let me put that into
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perspective. they could instead pay for this raise and reinvest in their workforce. >> how many companies are we talking about? >> it's a lot of companies. hundreds and thousands of retail companies dominated by the big ones that many people went into, target, walmart, the big chain stores that we're all familiar with. if they decide to pass on some of the costs of the hikes to consumers -- >> yeah. >> we're talking about 15 cents a shopping trip. $17 a year. and if you ask most americans, i am -- you know, donuts to dollar, they are willing to spend $17 more a year to make sure that these workers don't live in poverty. so if these companies argue, hey, hang on, this is going to put us as a competitive disadvantage, it's going to put us out of business, that's not
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the case? >> that isn't the case. and costco, high wage, great retailer, investment workers has double the average sales per employee than its lower wage counterpart sam's club owned by walmart. it turns out when you pay workers better, they are more productive, customer service goes up and happy customers spend more money. >> so if they absorb the prices themselves and don't increase costs, does that slow growth at the stores? >> no. because one of the things that they are more productive, they spend more money in the stores and, you know, if you look at the chains that really think about their employees as sets instead of costs to be minimized, they have better sales because their customers can find what they need when they want it. they can find somebody who can
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question and answer and they spend more money. >> is there any down side to this? because you're projecting no down sides to this? >> i don't think there really is a down side. and if you look at the real model employees in this sector, costco, safe way, there's a great convenience store called quick trip in the south. they are doing great. their stock -- cost of stock is higher and they invest in their employees which in turns leads to better jobs. >> thank you so much. >> thank you. the new film "lincoln" chronicles the late days of abraham lincoln who struggles to pass the 13th amendment and abolish slavery in the united states. i began by asking about daniel day-lewis who stars as lincoln.
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>> i thought about what he would sound like if he talked, what would he walk like if he walked and then suddenly to be able to say daniel day-lewis absorb as much authentic about lincoln's voice, his walk, his talk, his telling stories, felt like he was back again. it's been an extraordinary experience. >> i think daniel day-lewis did an outstanding job. this is the standard to which could be judged. you showed him around lincoln's home town of lincoln, illinois. what was that like? >> as soon as he decided to become lincoln, he asked me to take him through lincoln's home and we spent a couple days in springfield. at the beginning it was incognito without anybody recognizing him and then suddenly he was lincoln. it was great to be able to show
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him the actual materials and walk the rooms where abraham walked and he felt class troe phobic which is how lincoln felt. he became abraham lincoln a year later. >> this period covered in the film, does the movie stay true to history? >> oh, without a question, alec. they have done as much as they can to authenticate even the minor characters. of course, there are moments that are lost to history like some conversations might be and that's where, as steven spielberg says, imagination comes in. it's rooted in history. even when they took me into a room where they recreated the white house, i was blown away. the wall paper was as we knew it. they had carpet to look like it was at the time.
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i just felt like i had been catapulted back into that period. >> doris went on to say that our kournt leaders could learn from lincoln and his ability to work with rivals to work in unity. indeed on that. if you think you missed out on black friday prices at the home depot, think again. black friday prices are still here. instore and online, right now. where prices have been cut, chopped, and sanded... ...on the most powerful tools that cut... ...chop... ...and sand. so we, or somebody on our list, can do the same. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. get a special buy on a ryobi 2 piece lithium ion kit for just $99.
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hurry in this saturday and sunday for great deals. like the lucid by lg, free. or the galaxy nexus by samsung, free. this weekend, get the best deals on the best devices on the best network. exclusively at verizon. . charities want you to know about giving tuesday. the idea is to have a day that honors giving after days that celebrate thanks and shopping. they suggest find a way for your family, your community, your company to enjoy in acts of giving. you can learn more at do you plan on giving more to charity this year? here are some of your tweets.
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vicky g. says, always donate to vets. j. jrk writes, my family tries to donate to the homeless shelters once a month and this month is no different. and another reply is, yes, from end polio now to neighbors to suffering from sandy, we must give more. and peter sums it up nicely, i'm giving on giving tuesday. thank you so much for your tweets. send your charitable tweets to @alexwitt. catalog shopping becoming the rage. back then, direct sales were growing do growing double the rate of stores. this is back in 1988. >> americans were flooded with 12 billion catalogs this year. the average household receives 50 annually.
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the number has tripled in eight years with no end in sight. >> there are catalogs and circulation that has fallen due to increase in postage. it's time now for the big three and today's topics, second term, part one. second term, part two. let's bring in my big three panel. doug haddaway, erin mcpike, and robert traynum. i've had my coffee and i'm ready to go. erin, what do you think in terms of the president's top three goals in the second term? >> i don't know about three but i think aside from the very obvious, which is to strike some sort of big deal on the fiscal cliff and get some sort of
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entitlement reform, the big three is immigration reform. obviously he didn't talk much about it during the campaign. i think that was strategic, though, and now we're seeing that republicans are making some noise that they are willing to do something as far as immigration is concerned, too. >> yeah. >> hey, how much when you're rolling out of the president's health care law figure into that? the full implementation may be a great achievement? >> absolutely. i think that will be a grounding achievement that was passed in the first term but now it has to be implemented. soon americans will be able to shop for health insurance that is affordable and can't be denied or taken away. that's a big deal for middle class americans and that's going to be implemented in the state and some of the republican governors are not cooperating. there's going to be some work to be done there to get that done right so people can enjoy the
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fruits of health care reform. that, no doubt, is going to be the crowning legacy of both of his terms. i think that's what he wants to be known for, getting the middle class back in the driver's seat in this country and restoring balance to the system so people can believe in the american dream. >> perspectivewise, though, do you think it's on the order of medicare and social security? those are critical aspects to american life. >> absolutely. and you can see in this debate how people really do believe in those programs, social security and medicare and medicaid. i think obama care will rise close to that level. as people start to see benefits of it. i live in massachusetts where people have universal health care and people are seeing the benefits of it and they will like it as much as they like social security and medicare.
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>> do you think, robert? do you think that it will extend to the republicans? do you think they will hail the health care law? >> probably not. it's clearly something that they all ran against and governor romney's campaign was that he was going to defund and embark on obama care. but maybe a generation fortunately now. >> let's get to the second part, part 2. what do you see the biggest challenges that the president is going to face during his second term? >> i see two things, alex. first and foremost, presidents have had a horrible second term. bill clinton with his personal situation with monica lewinsky, george w. bush when it came to hurricane katrina. it's tough. the white house staffers are around and soft and not on their a-game. also, the president is tired and perhaps he's not on his a-game.
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but after january 1st, 2014, president obama will become a lame duck president and people will already start thinking and acting like 2016 is right around the corner. >> does that mean, robert, that you think that republicans are going to play obstructionists? do you think they will? >> i don't think politically they can afford to do this this time around because president obama won with such big numbers. i think they will work with him on immigration reform and comprehensive tax reform and comprehensive climate change reform. other than that, after 2014, i can't imagine them working with him, unfortunately. >> what about the up preem court justices? if so, what potential challenge could that pose for him? >> he will certainly appoint one justice and likely two. the challenge is going to be
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from his base. they will want to see very liberal justices to replace those who are retiring because we expect that the retirees will come from the left side of the bench. the problem is, if he adheres to that, he's going to have a problem getting some of those through the senate. but i think he's going to be under a lot of pressure from his base to go to the very left. >> what about you? what do you think is the biggest challenge for term 2 some. >> i think it's going to be get the tax system back in balance as he he promised during the campaign. >> obstructionist republicans? >> a lot of the moderates have left congress. so there's actually a bit more -- even more of a partisan divide, if you can even imagine. folks brokering compromises, both moderates in the house, moderates in the house and senate are gone now. while the president won re-election with big numbers, i think there's actually a bit more of a partisan divide that will make things tough to get done on capitol hill, if it can
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get any worse. >> how long does the president have? robert mentioned lame duck. how long until that phrase becomes present? >> i don't know. i think the pressure is on all sides to get something done now because of the fiscal cliff. so i think he's got the upper hand to get people to the table if he gets the message right about getting this, the tax code in balance so we can have the prosperity that we had back in the '90s when it was more in balance. but i don't know, i think people will want to work to get these things done. i don't know if he'll have too much of a lame duck problem. >> can i ask all three of you about the fiscal cliff prospects, in terms of the timeliness of them getting it done before the end of the year and in a fashion that has a sense of permanency to it you can make an argument as to why you think one way might be better than the other. >> we're already in the religious holidays with hanukkah coming up. i can't see the president, with congress divided as it is, to
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get something done by the end of the year. i would not be surprised if they put a band-aid on this and say let's wait until after the new year. let's wait until the new congress gets swong in. a different makeup and get something done then. >> you're thinking stop-gap, something short term? >> yes. >> erin, what about you? >> i think that's likely. but i think in the new year they are likely to get a big deal. it seems that republicans leading on this, like john boehner, like lindsay graham frankly, they're signaling they want to have a big deal. think in the coming three months or so, we'll probably see something pretty big from them. >> doug? >> i agree. i think that they are going to do a bit of a kick the can. but in the interest of getting a deal that people can live with and selling it well, the president is getting outside of washington to go to the american people on this. he needs time to do that well. so i don't think kicking the can down the street is a bad thing, it might help them accomplish something. >> back in a moment, everyone, with everyone's must-reads. s ar. oh no, not that, not here!
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we're back with the big three. it's time for your must-reads,
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my panel today, doug hattaway, erin mcpike and robert traynham, doug, what's your must-read? >> a piece by alan fram of the "associated press," what he calls the pragmatic voices in congress. a lot of people left in this election cycle could make congress even more polarized, unless some people will step up, drop the idealogue rigidness and get things done. >> does he say anything about the likelihood of some kind of a change. when you see the likes of a saxby chambliss and a lindsay graham getting up there. does he name anyone who he thinks might morph a little. >> i think he focuses more on the problem than the heroes. he lays out the stark situation which is surprising a lot of people. because the president won so big, congress might be a harder nut to crack. >> say it ain't so, doug. how about you, erin?
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what's your must-read? >> there's a great profile today in the "washington post" of patty murray, the fourth-ranking democrat in the senate. she just led the democrats to a bigger majority in the senate. she is the incoming chair of the senate budget committee. i don't mean to gush, but for people who are interested in washington, what's going to be happening with the fiscal cliff and next year, you want to read this story about patty murray. a lot of people are tired about hearing about mitch mcconnell and harry reid and some of these other leaders this is one you want to read this profile. >> we'll get to that. how but, robert? what's your must-read? >> my good friend, sheryl gay stollberg has a piece in "the new york times," about the historic nature of president obama's second inaugural. it will be on a second and the following day, the public ceremony on martin luther king jr. day and how fitting and how folks are lowering expectations given the fact they don't think they're going to have 1.8 million come out, as many people came out as four years ago.
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an interesting read. >> you never know, weather can always play part in that as well. we're all excited. thanks, all of you, i do appreciate it. and we'll see you again soon. that is a wrap-up of this sunday edition of "weekends with alex witt." do stay with us, we have headline updates. up next, "meet the press," i'm alex witt, make it a good one. ♪ i'd like to thank eating right, whole grain, multigrain cheerios! mom, are those my jeans? [ female announcer ] people who choose more whole grain tend to weigh less than those who don't. multigrain cheerios hmm, we need a new game. ♪ that'll save the day. ♪ so will bounty select-a-size. it's the smaller powerful sheet. the only one with trap + lock technology. look! one select-a-size sheet of bounty is 50% more absorbent than a full size sheet of the leading ordinary brand. use less. with the small but powerful picker upper,
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♪ don't know what i'd do ♪ i'd have nothing to prove ♪ i'd have nothing to lose [ male announcer ] zales is the diamond store. take an extra 10 percent off online purchases all day monday. this morning on "meet the press," our special thanksgiving weekend state of the nation, as the president prepares for a second term in office. america's influence abroad takes center stage in protests in egypt. the president seizes more power, undermining the country's democratic reform. the turmoil follows a still fragile cease-fire in gaza as the middle east takes another volatile turn. at home, white house critics press for more answers about what went wrong in libya, and whether officials were truthful with the public. >> i relied solely and squarely on the information pde


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